MAY 31, 2010: Humanitarian Action in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC)

Humanitarian Action in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC)
SOURCE: United Nations Office for the Coordination of Human Affairs (OCHA)
A publication of the Humanitarian Information Group (HIG) produced with OCHA's support


- Humanitarian actors are working to provide assistance to the mudslide victims in North Kivu.

- Improved security situation allows the return of 85% of the IDPs population in Fizi Territory in South Kivu.

- Discussions are ongoing to solve the issues of Central African refugees recently arrived in the Orientale Province.

Overall Developments

- A mudslide occurred on 16 May in the village of Kibiriga, in Nyiragongo Territory of the North Kivu Province, causing the death of 21 people, 25 people disappeared, 232 houses and seven hectares of fields destroyed. On 22 May the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and governmental authorities visited the affected village to assess the humanitarian situation. The government identified a land in Kibumba, Nyiragongo Territory, where the affected population will be relocated soon.

Protection of Civilians

- Lootings, abductions and sexual violence are still very common in the South Kivu Province, especially in the Territory of Shabunda where on 21 May elements of the Forces démocratiques pour la libération du Rwanda (FDLR) attacked the village of Mianzi raping 10 women, looting several houses and abducting people. Acts of extortion are also reported in Mwenga Territory where on 14 May in the town of Kasika, civil and militaries authorities were responsible for forcing the beneficiaries of a World Food Programme (WFP) distribution to hand out the food they received. Elements of the Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (FARDC) are forcing each household to give them approximately one kg of cereals.

Population Movements

Internally displaced persons (IDPs)

- An inter agency mission organized by the UNHCR and its partners is currently in Bendera, Katanga Province, to evaluate the humanitarian situation of IDPs living in this area and start their registration. Some 19,000 IDPs are estimated to have fled their places of origins in the neighbouring province of South Kivu fearing violence due to military operations in October 2009.

- Persistent insecurity continues to threaten the lives of civilian population in the North Kivu province. For example, at least 177 households fled their homes in Mandelya, due to insecurity caused by armed fighting that occurred during the last weeks. According to a local NGO based in Cantine, these households are in need of food, non-food items, shelters and medical assistance. At least 37 households reached Cantine on 19 May following the looting of the villages of Kalehemya, Makengea and Ngumo by armed elements bringing the total number of households displaced in this area the end of April at 214.

- According to local authorities, 80% of 10,000 IDPs in Bili, Bondo Territory in Bas Uele of the Orientale Province returned home during last March, while the rest prefer to remain displaced fearing insecurity in their places of origin.

- Other returns are also registered in the Fizi Territory of the South Kivu Province where more than 85% of IDPs returned back home following the improvement of security situation. Approximately 35,000 were reported having left their home in Fizi and neighbouring localities last April, due to military operations started between FARDC and Mayi-Mayi Yakutumba.

DRC citizens displaced outside the DRC

- The registration process carried out by UNHCR for the DRC refugees living in the Republic of the Congo (RoC) is continuing. Almost 10,000 people have been registered during last week in nine sites, bringing the total number of DRC refugees registered by UNHCR to almost 112,839 since mid-January. According to the RoC authorities, a total of 114,000 are estimated to have fled to the RoC from the Equateur Province, after escaping the spread of violence following inter-communal tensions.

Refugees in the DRC

- A joint mission was organized in Kisangani, Orientale Province, from 20 to 23 May by UNHCR and the National Commission for Refugees in order to discuss with provincial authorities possible interventions for Central African refugees in the Territory of Bondo, in the Bas Uele District. According to the crisis committee put in place in Baye, Bondo Territory, a new flow of approximately 520 IDPs has been registered in Bakpolo as a consequence of the last attacks perpetrated by the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) in the south of Central African Republic (CAR). As of today, March 2010 a total of 1,015 CAR people have found refuge in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).

Insecurity and Humanitarian Access

- Humanitarian access continues to be very limited in the South Kivu Province, particularly in the territories of Fizi, Kalehe, Mwenga and Shabunda where humanitarian needs are still very important. Limited infrastructures and bad conditions of roads, made worse after recent heavy rainfalls, hamper the passage of humanitarian organizations. An assessment mission organized by the Logistic Cluster is ongoing in the south of the Fizi Territory with the aim of find a solution soon.

Humanitarian Needs and Response


- The International Organization for Migration (IOM) finalized the construction of four schools, including 21 classrooms, 35 bathrooms and three offices in the towns of Boyazala, Bozene and Kungu, in the Equateur Province. Some 1,500 pupils, their parents and local authorities received awareness sessions on education, reproductive health and hygiene issues.

Food Security and Livelihoods

- This week the World Food Programme (WFP) distributed in Moba five MT of food to 86 Congolese refugees, repatriated from Zambia. One MT of food was delivered to the NGO AIDES for the 19 households, affected by last rainfalls in Moba, Katanga Province. Almost 16 MT of food were delivered to a local NGO in Kalemie to be distributed to people living with HIV/AIDS and to malnourished children and their respective families.

- In the North Kivu Province, WFP food distribution of 317 MT took place in the IDP sites of Ibuga, Kahe, Kashuga 1, Kashuga 2, Mokoto, Mongote, Muhanga and Mweso for approximately 32,000 IDPs, while the NGO Première Urgence is distributing seeds and agricultural materials for 10,000 IDP households in Kitchanga.


- In the Equateur Province, the national NGO Les Aiglons has just started a psychosocial support programme for approximately 500 unaccompanied children, and the socio-economic reintegration of children associated with armed groups and children in need of protection measures

Shelter and non-food items (NFIs)

- In the Equateur Province, the UN Population Fund (UNFPA) distributed personal delivery kits in Gemena, Libenge-Mawiya and Zongo last week. More than 270 pregnant displaced women received a personal delivery kits in these three towns and in Gemena thanks to the distribution of the NGO Shekina. However in Zongo, it has been reported the need for additional personal delivery kits for displaced women, as only 55 women, out of 181 that were attending the distribution, received the kit. This is due to the fact that some women were not registered in advance. UNFPA is ensuring the registration of these women in order to cover the gap as soon as possible. Distributions will continue this week in Bamwanda, Bokonzi, Bozene, Dongo, Kungu and Makengo.

- In the Orientale Province, the NGO Solidarités and Caritas started a joint distribution of NFI for approximately 4,000 vulnerable households in Bangadi in Dungu Territory of Haut Uele, while another NFI distribution scheduled from 16 to 22 May in the Territory of Djugu, in Ituri, was suspended on the second day, following the lootings of the stock. Investigations are currently ongoing in the attempt to find the responsible for this act. The distribution was intended to reach approximately 1,120 vulnerable households out of a total of 2,100 targeted households.

- The International Rescue Committee (IRC) distributed 4,000 NFI kits to the returned population of Fizi, in the South Kivu Province while approximately 3,000 returned households are waiting to be assisted. Despite the difficult access to the Haut Plateaux of Uvira, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) started on 24 May a food and a NFI distribution for more than 3,320 households

Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH)

- A lack of adequate latrines in the IDP site of Mokoto and Muhanga in the area of Kitchanga of North Kivu, has been reported by local authorities. IDPs are reported to dig their latrines themselves without respecting the minimum standard, engendering serious sanitation risks.

- In order to respond to the recurrent need of water in the town of Uvira of the South Kivu Province, the World Health Organization (WHO) installed a water purification kit with a capacity of 20,000 litres that would benefit approximately 400 households par day. An awareness campaign on the prevention of cholera was launched as well as the distribution of water purification tablets.

For more information, please contact:

Maurizio Giuliano, Advocacy and Public Information Manager, OCHA DRC,, tel. +243-81-9889195

Sylvestre Ntumba Mudingayi, Assistant Public Information Officer, OCHA DRC, tel. +243-99-8845386

Stefania Trassari, Associate Public Information Officer, OCHA DRC,, tel. +243-99-2906637